Family Preschool is committed to offering the best preschool education in Durham. As part of that goal, we hire only the best teachers to be a part of our family. We hire teachers who are experienced, have training in the educational philosophies we embrace, and who are equally committed to our children and their development. Family Preschool is proud to pay our teachers a living wage salary that shows our commitment to and understanding of their important work.
Education and background: Teacher Sue has a BA and MA in Fine Arts from New York University's Tisch School of Arts where she majored in dance and studied lighting design and theater production. She has been working as a preschool teacher since 2000 and has been a teacher at Family Preschool since 2003.
Professional organizations: Durham Orange Preschool Association.
Favorite part being a preschool teacher: “Discovering new ways to engage kids in things that they may have tired of (like cleaning up :-)!.”
Favorite books for kids: Pie Rats Ahoy by Richard Scarry and The Best Nest by P. D. Eastman
Anything else you want to share about yourself… “I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and I train 2 or 3 times per week. The exercise and discipline keeps me calm and balanced, and gives me an appreciation for how it feels to practice things that are really difficult, just like our kids do everyday.”
What parents say about Teacher Sue…
“Teacher Sue was a wonderful first teacher. She has been called 'the toddler whisperer.' Not only did I feel comfortable leaving my child with Teacher Sue, but she helped me become a better parent."
“Teacher Sue has a connection with toddlers that goes beyond the typical classroom - she puts in the extra effort and it shows.”
Education and background: Teacher Hannah has been at FPS since 2008. Her early childhood background is experiential. She began working with this age group as a teenager when she ran her church nursery at the St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Hillsborough and taught dance camps at Bounds Dance Studio in Chapel Hill. She has a BFA in Dance with a minor in English from UNCG. She has spent her professional dance career teaching children from 3-8 years of age how to dance and how to turn stories into ballets. She continues to teach ballet to this age group at the Triangle Youth Ballet in Chapel Hill.
Favorite part being a preschool teacher: “I really love seeing the new babies grow up and become Ducklings, Treefrogs, and 4/5 day kids, and then come back to visit after they are in elementary school. It’s wonderful to be part of such a great family run organization.”
Favorite books for kids: The Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. She has recently been reading Ursula K. Le Guinn's Catwings series.
Anything else you want to share about yourself… “My experience in the cooperative preschool community began when I took my daughter to a cooperative preschool in Wilmington, NC. I felt so supported there as a parent by the partnership between the teachers and the other parents. This model helped my daughter and our family on our first steps into a school environment that has stayed with us throughout our next steps in education. When we moved to Chapel Hill, I was overjoyed to find Family Preschool and be able to offer that same environment to my younger daughter. I enjoy being in that teacher role with each new class of children at Family Preschool. I strive to help the children to love to come to school and to know that they are valued in the classroom.”
What parents say about Teacher Hannah…
“She’s always made me think of sunlight; warm, caring, always brightening your and your child’s day, always patient, always happy to see them.”
“She really talks to the kids like they are equals, and I think they appreciate having such a caring friend. Our son cannot wait to see her again at the start of the week every time we have a weekend or break!”
“I love working with Hannah because I feel like she really values the parents' input throughout the helping parent day.”
Education and background: Teacher Molly’s background is in art education. She has taught art, art history, and ceramics for the past 20 years to all ages from preschoolers to adults. She has a BA in English, Art Education, and Art History, and an MA in Art History. She was part of the FPS parent community for 5 years while her daughters attended FPS. Molly has been teaching at Family Preschool since 2013.
Favorite part being a preschool teacher: “My favorite parts of teaching at FPS are engaging the children, sharing their enthusiasm for learning through projects and play, and being truly present for them--and with them--each morning. I also wish I could somehow record my daily conversations with our students because they are constantly priceless but too rapidly firing to remember!”
Favorite books for kids: Ish and The Dot by Peter Reynolds, One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, the Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems, and the poetry of Shel Silverstein.
Anything else you want to share about yourself…
“It is a privilege to teach at FPS and to continue to be a part of this nurturing learning community. One of our graduating 5-year old children once said to me: 'Teacher Molly, I wish I could stay at FPS forever.' I replied that 'I do, too!' It is a truly special place. I am proud to teach somewhere that allows children to learn through play, and that prioritizes the social/emotional curriculum as much as academics. I am also increasingly smitten with the 3-4-year-old age group. It is a tremendous joy to share the day with these most enthusiastic and creative early learners. I hope they all leave FPS with an ongoing desire to learn and to give back to the world in their own unique way."
What parents say about Teacher Molly…
“Calming and affirming to parents. Interested in really getting to know your child and finding fun and creative ways to engage them.”
“Molly has been a great addition to the 4- and 5-day rooms! Her creativity and willingness to get messy with the kids is awesome! And because she was a parent of FPS kids, I feel like she's in tune with what parents are experiencing as helping parents.”
"My son loves Teacher Molly, and so do we! She is patient, kind, and creative - a great mix of attributes for a preschool teacher."
Education and background: Teacher Susan has been working with children of all ages for over 27 years as an art therapist, art teacher, mentor, child care provider and a mother. She is a certified art therapist and holds her MA in art therapy and counseling. She has a BA in art therapy and psychology. She was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, West Africa where she taught art education and was part of the guidance counselor group for girls at her school. She first came to FPS as a parent while her son was a 4 day friend.
Favorite part being a preschool teacher: "My favorite part is observing the children creating and exploring their environment. I love to view the world through their eyes and see all the wonder and excitement they experience each day.”
Favorite books for kids: The Maggie B. by Irene Haas; City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems and Jon J Muth; and Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
Anything else you want to share about yourself… “Being part of a co-op preschool started when I was little. I attend the community Cooperative preschool in my town growing up. I still have very fond memories of my teachers and time spent at that preschool. I am so grateful that my son and our family found FPS. I am appreciative of its amazing community and project and play based learning and I am even more excited to teach at FPS!”
Education and background: I have an Associate's Degree from Massachusetts Bay Community College and I have a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. I have been working and teaching children from infancy to five years for the last 15 years in both Massachusetts and North Carolina.
Favorite part of being a preschool teacher: I take great pleasure in seeing the children grow at their own pace by learning and discovering the world that is surrounding them.
Favorite books for kids: The Lion and The Little Red Bird by Elisa Kleven, The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins, and The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton.
Anything else you want to share about yourself...: "I am very excited to be part of FPS. As a parent, I believe that communication between the family and the educator is very important. I am excited to be part of FPS where I believe the philosophy and goal includes this important fact. I like to run and do yoga, which gives me energy and make me feel great. I also love to spend time cooking and baking, especially with my 5-year-old son. I am originally from France, and we speak both English and French at home."